KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The son of a Wyandotte County Sheriff’s deputy killed in the line of duty wants to honor his father by collecting patches from law enforcement agencies across the country.
Capt. David Thaxton with the Wyandotte Sheriff’s Office said their agency received a request about 5-year-old Connor’s wishes last week. They’re calling it “Patches for Connor.”
“We occasionally get requests to exchange patches, but this one is going to be different because of the gravity of the situation,” Thaxton said.
Connor’s father, Deputy Patrick Rohrer, and another deputy were killed in June during an inmate transport.
“We’ve received all kinds of mementos and memorabilia from across the country, and now that Connor wants patches, we’re going to make sure he gets a lot of them,” Thaxton said.
He said the agency receives packages every day and has already collected hundreds of patches from New York to California.
Marty Augustine is a police officer in the metro. He’s been collecting police memorabilia for decades and is planning to donate some of his collection to Connor.
“His mom told me that he would eventually like to have an officer-themed room,” Augustine said.
He’s also giving Connor some of the model police cars, badges, coins and other law enforcement memorabilia he’s collected over the years.
“I wanted to take it a step further and let him know how much his father meant to the community, how much his sacrifice meant to the community and that his family is not alone,” Augustine said.
Support for Connor hasn't been limited to just the U.S.
Alex Goodwin, who the Kansas City community rallied behind in 2016 when the now 11-year-old underwent cancer treatment at KU Hospital, uploaded a video to social media, calling on the thin blue line to join him in granting Connor’s wish.
The Great Britain native and his family sent Connor a British police hat.
“Connor is very sad right now, but he’s decided to collect police badges…to remind himself of the important job of being an officer and mostly his father,” Goodwin said in a video uploaded to Facebook and Twitter. “I just hope that you guys send some badges and patches to him. Just a tiny little bit, just enough to make him happy.”
Those who have already donated said the small gesture is more than just cloth and thread, it’s about supporting family.
“I hope he understand that he’s part of something much larger than anything he can truly be aware of,” Augustine said.
You can mail patches to this address: Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department, c/o Jared Gambrel, Patches for Connor, 710 N. 7th St., Suite 20, Kansas City, KS 66101.